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Overview of FFO-2019

FFO-2019 will support long term projects to investigate trends in living coastal and marine resources and the processes driving them.

To receive funding, applicants will need to directly address the needs of resource managers and have a clear plan for how their research findings or products will be used by resource managers. Applicants are encouraged to include resource managers on their project teams.

This funding opportunity is an open competition. All applications will be evaluated and scored individually using an independent peer review process. This process is designed to identify the strongest applications based on the merit of the work being proposed.

This competition continues the Science Program’s commitment to producing timely and high-quality scientific findings and products to support the management and sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, including its fisheries.

FFO-2019 Priority

The priority for this competition is identifying, tracking, understanding, and/or predicting trends and variability in the Gulf of Mexico’s living coastal and marine resources and the processes driving them.

Applicants must propose work that addresses this priority in one or more of these areas of emphasis: 1) exploring trends in multiple species, 2) investigating the link between weather and/or climate and trends, 3) and examining the relationship between trends and economic activity.

  1. Exploring trends in multiple species may include, but is not limited to, the investigation of how the trends and variability in multiple species respond to the same driver, trends and variability in food web dynamics, or multi-species stock assessments.
  2. Investigating the link between weather and/or climate and trends may include, but is not limited to, the impact of hurricanes, precipitation events, winter storms, heat waves, drought, shifting temperature regimes, changes in sea level, and fluctuations in atmospheric or ocean circulation.
  3. Examining the relationship between trends and economic activity may include, but is not limited to changes in economic activity measured as expenditures and revenues; income and employment generated; direct, indirect, and induced economic output, and changes in economic value.

Additional Information

Full application webinar (recording) (questions and answers) (webinar script)

Competition roll-out webinar (recording)

Frequently Asked Questions

This funding competition is directed at projects that propose to identify, track, understand, and/or predict trends and variability in the Gulf of Mexico’s living coastal and marine resources and the processes driving them, and has three areas of emphasis: 1) multiple species, 2) impacts of weather and/or climate, and 3) economic activity. See Section I.B.2. of the full announcement. To be eligible for funding, applicants must propose a project that addresses one or more of these three areas of emphasis. For this Announcement, living coastal and marine resources are defined as living organisms, including wildlife, that are found in coastal or marine waters (fresh, estuarine, nearshore, or offshore) or coastal lands that are also of concern or importance to humans.

Improving the understanding and management of the Gulf of Mexico’s living coastal and marine resources is the driving factor behind this funding competition. For that reason, applicants must clearly describe how the research relates to one or more issues facing resource managers and how the research findings or products will be applied, including a description of the process for the transfer to and use of research findings or products by the management community. Applicants must specifically identify their end users and integrating them into the project team is encouraged.

Living coastal and marine resources are defined as living organisms, including wildlife, that are found in coastal or marine waters (fresh, estuarine, nearshore, or offshore) or coastal lands and that are also of concern or importance to humans. A resource manager is an individual or group of individuals with decision-making authority over the use, conservation, or restoration of one or more living coastal and marine resources within the area they manage. Resource management may take many forms, including wildlife and fishery management, federal and state rule-making and permitting, conservation practices by private landowners, place-based management, and restoration planning.General Data Management Guidance

Approximately $15 million is available through this competition to fund approximately six projects for five years. An additional $15 million will be available for five year renewals for high performing projects. For this competition, the minimum individual award amount is $500,000 over five years (an average of $100,000 per year) and the maximum individual award amount is $7.5 million over five years (an average of $1.5 million per year). See Section II.A. of the full announcement

Applications to this competition must request five years of funding. Projects selected for funding in this competition that are high performing may be invited to submit a second application for additional funding through a five year renewal. See Section II.B. of the full announcement

The Science Program will conduct two reviews of each funded project to determine if it is high performing and an invitation to submit a subsequent five-year non-competitive renewal application is warranted. One review conducted by a panel of researchers and resource managers will assess the quality and relevance of the research and its application. A second review will assess the programmatic, financial, and administrative performance of the project. Invitations to submit a non-competitive renewal application are at the sole discretion of the Science Program. See Section II.B. of the full announcement

Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education; non-profit institutions; local, state, and tribal governments; for-profit organizations; and US territories and federal agencies that possess the statutory authority to accept funding for this type of work.

Applicants from federal agencies are required to have a co-investigator from at least one non-NOAA entity and it is strongly encouraged that the co-investigator(s) be from a non-federal eligible entity.

Investigators are not required to be employed by an eligible entity that is based in one of the five Gulf of Mexico States (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas). However, investigators that are not employed by or associated with Gulf of Mexico-based eligible entities are strongly encouraged to collaborate with partners from Gulf of Mexico-based eligible entities. See Section III.A. of the full announcement

Yes, projects that propose to do work in the broader Gulf of Mexico are eligible, but must be led by a US based entity. Funding may be directed to partner institutions outside the US with the exception of Cuba.

No, the Science Program cannot support existing or planned research led by NOAA unless agreed to in writing by the grant recipient. See Section IV.F.2 of the full announcement

Yes, a pre-proposal is required. A full application that is not preceded by a pre-proposal will not be considered and will be returned to the applicant without review. There is no template for pre-proposals, but detailed instructions on pre-proposal content are available in section IV.B of the full announcement. Pre-proposals are due via email to by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time on July 30, 2018. See Section IV.D.1. of the full announcement

Individuals may be listed as an investigator on no more than two pre-proposals and subsequent full applications, and may only be the lead investigator on one of them. “Investigator” is defined as an individual that is proposed to receive funding if the project is awarded or is substantially involved in the project to warrant a listing as either the lead investigator or a co-investigator. Investigators, including the lead investigator, may change from a pre-proposal to the full application. Collaborators or any proposed project personnel that are not considered investigators may participate in more than two pre-proposals or subsequent applications. See section III.A of the full announcement

The deadline for receipt of full applications is 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time on November 14, 2018.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their full applications electronically through If the use of is not feasible, an applicant is concerned about possible problems associated with the system, or is unable to accept a full application electronically in a timely fashion, an applicant may submit a paper copy of their application to:

Laura Golden
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1305 East West Highway
SSMC 4, Station 8219
Silver Spring, MD 20910

See Sections IV.D.2 and VII of the full announcement

Yes, full applications must include a data management plan of up to two pages. A typical plan should include descriptions of the types of environmental data and information expected to be created during the course of the project, the tentative date by which data will be shared, the standards to be used for data/metadata format and content, methods for providing data access, approximate total volume of data to be collected, and prior experience in making such data accessible. Applicants should consult Sections IV.B.3.(6) and VIII.A. of the full announcement for the funding competition for complete details on the requirements for the data management plan.

A decadal plan describes a ten year approach to the proposed research and its application. It explains why a decade of research and investment is needed to address the resource management issue, how the resource management community will be engaged over the ten years, how the initial five years of work will generate hypotheses and inform the subsequent five years of work, and how the subsequent five years will build upon the work conducted in the initial five years. The decadal plan will provide the Science Program and peer reviewers with a succinct rationale for why a long-term investment in the proposed work is warranted. See Section IV.B.3.(5). of the full announcement.

Proposals will be evaluated on five criteria. These are 1) the project’s importance and applicability to NOAA, federal, regional, state, or local activities (25 percent); 2) technical and scientific merit of the proposed methods, goals, and objectives (30 percent); 3) the qualifications and capabilities of applicants (15 percent); 4) project budget (10 percent); and 5) the applicant’s proposed process for transferring project findings and outputs to Gulf of Mexico end users (20 percent). Anyone interested in applying for funding should consult Section V.A. of the full announcement for complete details.

No, the Science Program is holding a single competition that includes all eligible applicants. See Section II.C. of the full announcement.

The program anticipates making awards in June 2019 and the suggested start date for projects is September 1, 2019. See Section II.B. of the full announcement.

The Science Program will use a cooperative agreement to distribute funding to non-federal awardees. If there are federal awardees, an intra-agency or inter-agency transfer will be used to distribute the funding, and NOAA will be substantially involved in the projects in a manner similar to the cooperative agreements with non-federal awardees. See Section II.C. of the full announcement.

General Information:
Frank Parker
Associate Director and federal program officer

Grants Administration Information:
Laura Golden
NCCOS Grants Administrator
1305 East West Hwy
SSMC 4, Station 8219
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Data Management Information:
Jessica Morgan
NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator

Indirect or Facilities and Administrative Costs Information:
Lamar Revis
Grants Officer
NOAA Grants Management Division
1325 East West Highway
9th Floor
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910